Psychologists Address US Racial Injustice and Degrading Treatment

Justin Karter
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Psychologists are calling on their field to look more closely at racial injustice in the United States, particularly in relation to human rights violations in the criminal justice system. Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR), a non-profit group that led the push to end American psychologists involvement in the CIA torture program, issued a statement this week alleging that degrading treatment and torture by US authorities is not limited to Guantanamo Bay.

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Below is an excerpt from the full statement, which is available here.

“Echoing the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement, PsySR is concerned with the staggering array of violent acts committed by public officials against individuals and communities of color within the United States. Acts constitute torture when they cause severe mental or physical pain or suffering and are intentionally inflicted by or under public authority for the purpose of obtaining a confession, punishing, intimidating or coercing, or for any other reason based on discrimination of any kind. Cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment (CIDT) encompasses a broader range of exposure to substantial pain or suffering undertaken with the consent or acquiescence of public officials.

Torture, in its most immediately recognizable form, is manifest in actions such as those of Chicago police officers who, under the direction of Jon Burge, attached electric shock cables to African American suspects to gain false confessions. Far more frequent is the use of prolonged solitary confinement, a psychologically destructive practice that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has called on all nations to abolish.

Other significant human rights violations that could rise to the level of torture or CIDT, or may otherwise be linked to them, include police beatings and racially discriminatory killings, sexual assault, medical neglect, and abuses within prisons, jails, and detention centers. These traumatizing acts are often disproportionately waged on individuals and communities of color.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. I can share a few things about race in jail.

    White correctional offices are about 10 times more likely to be and act like sociopaths and sadists then black COs. My guess is that generally the white ones chose a carrier working in those hellholes to act out there anti social personalities and the black COs just wanted the pay and benefits.

    The Black and white inmates acted different too, generally if you had trouble with a black fellow inmate there was a good chance you could be sucker punched followed by an ass beating, then its all over. A problem with a white guy was more likely to result in planning and scheming and a more of a dirty bad ending.

    I think the main reason more black people are in jail is more because income levels more than race itself.

    I white suburban kid gets pulled over and say has marijuana he is more likely to make bail and have access to a lawyer who will defend him where if a black person with the same problem has less money he or she can’t make the bail and then is easily coerced into a plea bargain by the public pretender just to get out someday. There is a slang for that plea bargain coercion process that includes setting the court date way ahead so you do more time in the end for petty stuff if you try and get a trial but I forget.

    Hopefully after the elections are done hogging up all the headlines and public attention the protesting of mass incarceration and American police state brutality will be back like in 2014-2015

    I think those protests will be back because so many people have been abused and treated so unfairly by that wrenched system in a way that it leaves a stain in a persons heart that doesn’t ever really go away.

    Check out http://www.copblock.org/ Some of the writers on that website really have a way with words.

  2. It never stops

    The family has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit alleging that the officers used excessive force when they encountered Norma who suffered from a mental illness and posed no immediate threat when killed.

    April 7, 2016 by Brian Sumner http://www.copblock.org/157529/norma-guzman-shooting-video-released-family-asks-for-charges/

    Meanwhile on National news 24/7 your vote doesn’t count cause of super-delegates or brokered conventions get used to it.

    God save us.

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